Saturday, June 28, 2014

Catechesis on the Blessed Trinity (Part 4)

Throughout the month of June, in honor of the Unity of the Three Divine Persons, there will be excerpts from the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent provided for your reflection.

Practical Admonitions Concerning The Mystery Of The Trinity

Since nowhere is a too curious inquiry more dangerous, or error more fatal, than in the knowledge and exposition of this, the most profound and difficult of mysteries, let the pastor teach that the terms nature and person used to express this mystery should be most scrupulously retained; and let the faithful know that unity belongs to essence, and distinction to persons.

But these are truths which should not be made the subject of too subtle investigation, when we recollect that he who is a searcher of majesty shall be overwhelmed by glory. We should be satisfied with the assurance and certitude which faith gives us that we have been taught these truths by God Himself, to doubt whose word is the extreme of folly and misery. He has said: Teach ye all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and again, there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.

Let him, however, who by the divine bounty believes these truths, constantly beseech and implore God and the Father, who made all things out of nothing, and ordereth an things sweetly, who gave us power to become the sons of God, and who made known to the human mind the mystery of the Trinity let him, I say, pray unceasingly that, admitted one day into the eternal tabernacles, he may be worthy to see how great is the fecundity of the Father, who contemplating and understanding Himself, begot the Son like and equal to Himself, how a love of charity in both, entirely the same and equal, which is the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, connects the begetter and the begotten by an eternal and indissoluble bond; and that thus the Essence of the Trinity is one and the distinction of the Three Persons perfect.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Catechesis on the Blessed Trinity (Part 3)

Throughout the month of June, in honor of the Unity of the Three Divine Persons, there will be excerpts from the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent provided for your reflection.

The Doctrine Of The Trinity

In the one Substance of the Divinity the Father is the First Person, who with His only begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, is one God and one Lord, not in the singularity of one Person, but in the trinity of one Substance. These Three Persons, since it would be impiety to assert that they are unlike or unequal in any thing, are understood to be distinct only in their respective properties. For the Father is unbegotten, the Son begotten of the Father, and the Holy Ghost proceeds from both. Thus we acknowledge the Essence and the Substance of the Three Persons to be the same in such wise that we believe that in confessing the true and eternal God we are piously and religiously to adore distinction in the Persons, unity in the Essence, and equality in the Trinity.

Hence, when we say that the Father is the First Person, we are not to be understood to mean that in the Trinity there is anything first or last, greater or less. Let none of the faithful be guilty of such impiety, for the Christian religion proclaims the same eternity, the same majesty of glory in the Three Persons. But since the Father is the Beginning without a beginning, we truly and unhesitatingly affirm that He is the First Person, and as He is distinct from the Others by His peculiar relation of paternity, so of Him alone is it true that He begot the Son from eternity. For when in the Creed we pronounce together the words God and Father, it means that He was always both God and Father.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Catechesis on the Blessed Trinity (Part 2)

Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.  Throughout the month of June, in honor of the Unity of the Three Divine Persons, there will be excerpts from the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent provided for your reflection.

God Is Called Father Because He Adopts Christians Through Grace

But God, particularly in the New Testament, is much more frequently, and in some sense peculiarly, called the Father of Christians, who have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but have received the spirit of adoption of sons (of God), whereby they cry: Abba (Father). For the Father hath bestowed upon us that manner of charity that we should be called, and be the sons of God, and if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ, who is the first born amongst many brethren, and is not ashamed to call us brethren. Whether, therefore, we look to the common title of creation and Providence, or to the special one of spiritual adoption, rightly do the faithful profess their belief that God is their Father.

The Name Father Also Discloses The Plurality Of Persons In God

But the pastor should teach that on hearing the word Father, besides the ideas already unfolded, the mind should rise to more exalted mysteries. Under the name Father, the divine oracles begin to unveil to us a mysterious truth which is more abstruse and more deeply hidden in that inaccessible light in which God dwells, and which human reason and understanding could not attain to, nor even conjecture to exist.
This name implies that in the one Essence of the Godhead is proposed to our belief, not only one Person, but a distinction of persons; for in one Divine Nature there are Three Persons the Father, begotten of none; the Son, begotten of the Father before all ages; the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the likewise, from all eternity.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral Basilica -- Update

On June 15th, 2014, Trinity Sunday, Rev. Fr. Joseph Heffernan, FSSP, will celebrate a Solemn Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, at 18th and the Ben Franklin Parkway. The Mass will begin at 2:00 PM. Father Heffernan is from Philadelphia and was a parishioner at Mater Ecclesiae, of Berlin, NJ.  Father was ordained to the priesthood this just past Saturday, May 31, 2014, by the Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, at Saint Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska, for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Also, Trinity Sunday is the feast of our Holy Trinity Church, and so our usual 12 Noon High Mass will remain.  However, all Holy Trinity parishoners are invited and encouraged to attend the special Mass at the Cathedral as well!

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